Cape Town - Sea Search Research and Conservation have said there is a massive Cape fur seal mortality event unfolding along the West Coast after a large number of dead seals were reported last month – which seems to be continuing.
Overfishing and fishing line entanglements appear to be the most likely cause of the deaths at present.
A few key players working on the investigation into the cause of these deaths include Sea Search, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (Deff), CapeNature, SANParks, the SPCA, TwoOceans, SharkSpotters and various municipalities.
Stellenbosch University senior lecturer and Sea Search co-director Tess Gridley said it was difficult to give the exact number of mortalities but it was in the thousands.
They are collating data collected from Shelly Beach, Elands Bay and Lamberts Bay (where the deaths were occurring) on the Cape fur seal mortality event and Avian flu, but so far no direct links between this occurrence and the Avian flu outbreaks had been made.